When it was announced last week (June 11) that Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo would be stepping down and Twitter-co founder Jack Dorsey would be stepping in as interim CEO, the Twitter community embraced the announcement with mixed reactions.
There were tweets like #ThankYouDickC floating around the Twitter-sphere, and there were tweets like #JackIsBack. And although Twitter CEO Dick Costolo had already announced internally at the end of last year that he would soon be stepping away as CEO, it didn’t dull the shock felt by the Twitter community when the actual announcement was made.
Following Twitter’s endless struggle to turn the social media platform profitable, it seems Twitter was going back to its roots to turn the company around. But not every Twitter investor was gleaming with joy about the news. The most notable one was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who is one of Twitter’s largest shareholders.
Prince Alwaleed told the Financial Times in an interview that he did not support Dorsey taking over the company permanently because of the time commitment it takes to run his mobile payments company, Square. He also indicated that Twitter should focus on finding a new leader that has a marketing background so Twitter can work on building its user base.
“Jack has another company called Square which requires a lot of attention and a full-time job round there. I believe and trust that Jack Dorsey is there on a temporary basis,” Prince Alwaleed said. “The new leader has to have tech savviness, an investor-oriented process and a marketing mentality.”
In its first quarter earnings, Twitter posted a revenue of $436 million, up 74 percent, year-over-year, but that was below Twitter’s projected revenue range of $440 million-$450 million. The social media giant saw a net loss of $162 million on the quarter, which was attributed to “lower-than-expected contribution from its newer direct response products.” And in weeks following that report, its shares had dipped 18 percent. After Costolo announced he was leaving, Twitter’s stocks went up 7 percent, then slightly declining by 4 percent as the day progressed.
Costolo is set to leave on July 1 without any severance. Dorsey will take over on an interim basis until a search committee chooses a new candidate. A popular candidate, according to USA Today, is Adam Bain, a longtime media executive who runs global revenue and partnerships at Twitter.
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